The weekend before 28-year-old Christopher Schumacher died on Blodgett Peak, he had his first successful winter summit of a Colorado fourteener, making it to the top of Mount Elbert.

“It’s something I know he was proud of,” said his friend, Justin Giffin, who lives in Aurora.The two met a few months ago through the hiking community and shared a passion for the mountains and hiking and for the Colorado Avalanche. They had plans to climb Bear Peak in Boulder on Sunday, but Schumacher disappeared Saturday and was found badly injured and unconscious on Blodgett Peak in northwest Colorado Springs after falling 60 to 100 feet.Schumacher, of Denver, died before rescuers could get him back to the Blodgett Peak Open Space parking lot on West Woodmen Road.Griffin posted on Facebook that he climbed Bear Peak without his friend to say goodbye.”He’s just really friendly and nice, always smiling,” Giffin said Monday.Giffin said hikers know the risks of their sport.”It comes with the territory,” he said. “We’re aware of the risk but we’re more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the mountains.”Friends and family of Schumacher left flowers at the trailhead, in the upscale community of Mahogany Vale.Hikers in the area said Blodgett Peak can be a tough climb with trails that aren’t well-maintained.Harry Karasopoulos, who was out for a hike in the area with his son Ryan on Monday, said he’d heard reports of icy conditions near the summit.”I would argue it’s more hazardous than Barr Trail,” Harry Karasopoulos said, noting there is a lot of scree and steep scrambles, although few exposed cliffs.-Contact Megan Schrader719-286-0644Twitter: @CapitolSchrader

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